& cplSiteName &

Orange Nabs First Intel Smartphone

Sarah Thomas
2/26/2012
50%
50%

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2012 -- There's been much speculation over who would build the first Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) Atom-powered smartphone, but it appears a wireless operator, Salt SA , has beaten the predicted first movers, Motorola Mobility LLC and LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) to the punch.

The European operator is announcing Monday at MWC that it will offer its own branded smartphone, codenamed Orange Santa Clara, in the U.K. and France this summer. The phone will be powered by Intel's new Atom processor, Z2460 , and supports HSPA+.

The phone's real name and price won't be announced until launch, but it will be significantly cheaper than most smartphones, according to Vincent Brunet, Orange's executive vice president of mobile consumer services.

"Our strategy is to have a much more aggressive price point for this phone when we introduce it in the market," Brunet says. "It will enable some of our customers to have a high-performance smartphone at a price that today does not allow them to get this level of performance."

The phone, built for Orange by Gigabyte, will run Android's Gingerbread operating system at launch, but Brunet says will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich once it's available. The phone also supports HD video and near-field communications (NFC) and has an 8-megapixel camera. (See Intel Adds NFC to Renewed Mobile Push.)

Why this matters
The device launch is significant for both companies. Intel says mobile will be its next big push, and it's looking to the wireless operators to help get it started, but so far it hasn't made chips power-efficient enough for mobile. That's all changing with its latest Medfield chips. That said, it won't be easy to break into mobility, where established mobile players like Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) rule the roost.

For Orange, this furthers a strategy of selling branded phones that has worked well for the operator in Europe for the past 10 years. The carrier uses its branded phones to promote data usage and its own services like Orange TV and the Orange App Shop. The company says that customer demand for Orange phones led it to double the models it carried last year, increasing in volume to 15 percent of its total portfolio from 7 percent. It plans to increase that figure to 20 percent this year.

For more
More Intel-powered phones and gear are expected this week in MWC. Read up on Intel's plans below.



— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
September 25-27, 2018, Denver, Colorado
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Net Neutrality Moves Are as Futile as Trump's Comb-Over
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/18/2018
Samsung Plots New 5G Modem – Report
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/18/2018
Analyst: Verizon's Fixed 5G Is a Loss Leader for Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/16/2018
Europe Urges US to Block Trump on Net Neutrality
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/22/2018
Has the 5G Upturn Begun?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/19/2018
Animals with Phones
I May Have an Appointment Available Later Today... Click Here
Let me check my schedule.
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed